Why is this called ‘ULTIMATE’? I know that is quite a claim, but this is hands-down the best banana bread recipe I have made, come across and eaten. Over the years I have tried and tested numerous banana breads, each claiming to be the best, so now I am throwing my own into the mix.
The response on Instagram to the recipe has been fan-bana-tastic! I have loved seeing your creations and feedback on the recipe, so I only felt right that this be the first recipe I share on my blog with you.
This recipe started back in the Tuscan Hills near Lucca, where I was charged with making a banana bread for the next morning’s grab-n-go breakfast. I already felt the pressure slightly, as I feared rumbling tummies on the journey back to the UK. To then be told to make it up on the spot, using whatever ingredients were left in the kitchen added to my trepidation. But, throwing caution to the wind, mashing up some overripe caramel-like bananas and adding whatever there was to hand, I embraced the spontaneity. And the results were humbling. Every one raved about the ‘best’ banana bread: moist, banana-like, indulgent-tasting yet healthy. On the flight home, I manically wrote down what I had put into the mix, in hopes of re-creating the bake when I returned. I am happy to say that it worked first time, and even better than the Italian version, in my opinion.
So here it is… simple ingredients, vegan, gluten-free options, easy to change up, loads of optional add-ins to take it from banana to banana-mocha, banana-caramel, banana-nut, banana-peanut butter dreams, banana-choc…. The list is endless.
Ultimate Banana Bread
Makes 1 bread-tin loaf
3 large bananas (the riper the better)
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp chia seeds (ground flaxseed will work, too)
1/3 cup plant-based milk (I like oat or almond)
2 tbsp olive oil, or coconut oil (melted)
2 tbsp maple syrup, or coconut honey
¼ cup coconut sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1 tbsp bicarbonate of soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1 ½ cups spelt flour*
Optional: sliced banana for topping, ½ cup walnuts, dried fruits, chocolate chips…
Optional: 1 tsp maca, lucuma
Preheat oven to 160Fan/180*C. line a loaf tin with baking parchment.
Mash the banana well in a large mixing bowl until smooth. Add all the wet ingredients and stir until combined.
Leave for 5-10 minutes, then add in the dry ingredients together and mix until fully incorporated.
Add in ½ cup optional extras, if using. The mix will be very thick and seem ‘dry’ but this is perfect.
Pour into loaf tin, smooth over the top. Add sliced banana on top, if using.
Bake for 30-40 mins, ovens vary, until the top is browning nicely and an inserted skewer comes out clean. Keep checking the cake very 5 mins if it’s not done and add some foil to cover if it is getting too dark on top.
Leave to cool on a wire rack. After 10 mints, remove from the tin and peel away the parchment. Allow to cool fully before storing in an airtight container for up to 5 days. It freezes well in slices too.
* I have tried wholemeal flour but found this quite dry. I have heard of good results with buckwheat and plain flour. I have not tried a GF flour blend but let me know if you do.
Let me know if you make it, and remember to tag me and use the hashtag #nourishingamy.